Thursday, August 23, 2012

That's the way the wild wind blows

Apparently the wind's been blowing extra hard out on the West Texas plains this summer. At least that's the only logical explanation I can come up with for the remarks made by Lubbock County Judge Tom Head.

It seems that Mr. Head is asking county commissioners for a tax increase to cover the additional expenses he expects the county to incur as a result of the insurrection that will follow should President Obama be re-elected in November.

Yes. You read that right. A local official in Lubbock, Texas has declared that the re-election of the president will spark a civil war.
“I'm thinking the worst. Civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe. And we're not just talking a few riots here and demonstrations, we're talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy." -- Lubbock County Judge Tom Head
Mr. Head thinks that Mr. Obama is planning to cede sovereignty over the United States to the United Nations. And when those blue-helmeted UN soldiers come a-knocking in Lubbock, Mr. Head will be on the other side of his rifle defending the dusty plains. Oh, and did I fail to mention that the county sheriff is on board with this, too?

Maybe that's just what a crazy-ass wingnut has to do in order to justify asking for a tax increase. Maybe those teabaggers and tin foil hat-wearing nutjobs are just flat out opposed to tax money being used for anything other than arming the military and the police.

Now I'm fairly certain that in the next day or two we'll hear that Mr. Head either misspoke, used the wrong word or was misquoted and that he didn't mean to imply that a vote for Mr. Obama was a vote for civil war. Or, maybe he'll be honest and admit that he's a complete nutjob and that watching tumbleweeds blow down Main Street all summer long was just a little too much for his sanity.

The absolute absurdity of the statement is demonstrated by the peaceful handing over of power that has taken place in this country ever since John Adams became president. The only time that the election of a president has spurred a civil war was when Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860 - but that was in a day when there were two very distinct regions of the country and two very distinct economic systems at play.

Mr. Head's comments are shameful. Luckily the term "county judge" in Texas refers to the presiding member of commissioner's court - the bodies that govern each of Texas' 254 counties. There are a few instances, however, in which the county judge serves as the presiding judge of a county's Constitutional Court (luckily those instances are few and very far between).

Interestingly enough, Mr. Head doesn't tell us who the opposing sides are in his imagined civil war. It certainly sounds a lot like the apocalyptic warnings we hear from the far right and white power groups when they talk about the coming race war.

Our system of government didn't collapse when Ronald Reagan took office. It didn't collapse when Bill Clinton took office. It didn't collapse when George W. Bush won the presidency and it didn't collapse when Barack Obama was elected president. We have our differences and we have forums for expressing those differences.

If Mr. Head had any integrity, he'd step down. But, because he's a politician, he won't.

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